BY DEAN HOCKNEY
KOKOMO, Ind. – It has been well documented that the North Central Conference will be at an odd nine teams starting with the 2015-2016 school year. With New Castle leaving this year and Huntington North at the end of 2014-2015 – and three Lafayette schools joining next year – the addition of at least one school to the blue collar conference is expected. But the blue collar aspect of the conference could come to a screeching halt if a private Catholic school is admitted. Could that happen? The answer is yes, and it is a real possibility as the addition of the private Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville is under consideration by conference administrators.
“The principals and athletic directors of the North Central Conference met on December 12, 2013, at the IHSAA building at the request of representatives from Arsenal Technical High School and St Theodore Guerin High School to discuss the possible membership of those schools into the NCC. Each school made a presentation to the group and discussed their interest in becoming a member of the NCC,” said NCC Sports Information Director Michael Austin in a prepared statement. “As a result of the meeting, the principals and athletic directors of the conference will request to visit each of the two schools in the near future in order to make the best possible decision for the NCC.
Founded in 2004, Guerin is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school with 750 students and a tuition of $12,450 per year. It is currently a Class 3A school in boys basketball and won a state title in 2012. Arsenal Tech is a Class 4A school in boys basketball and was an original member of the North Central Conference. Austin said there is no decision on admitting Guerin Catholic or Tech.
“There is no commitment to either school or from the conference at this point,” his statement read. “The visits are the next step in the lengthy process of making a formal invitation to any school that may wish to become a member of the conference.”
With changes happening in dozens of conference in Indiana, Austin said the NCC wants to ensure what is best for its student-athletes.
“As events unfold throughout the state among athletic conferences, the principals and athletic directors of the NCC will continue to focus on what is best for the student athletes, coaches, schools and communities of the member schools in the NCC,” Austin’s release stated. “The goal for the NCC remains the same; bigger, better, stronger and more exciting than ever.”
Current members of the North Central Conference include Kokomo, Logansport, Marion, Anderson, Muncie Central, Huntington North and Richmond. Lafayette Jefferson, McCutcheon and Harrison will join next school year while Huntington drops out – leaving room for at least one new school to keep the conference at an even number of competitors.